As a small business owner you know the art wearing all those hats! An expert multi skiller! Sometimes it’s difficult to find the time to focus on getting one thing right when you have all those balls in the air.  Many small business owners are guilty of it – concentrating on clients and losing focus on their people, until something goes wrong or someone leaves.  It may take a bit of extra time now but you and your client will both benefit down the track! Read these 3 HR (Human Resources) staffing pitfalls that small business owners need to avoid when they are growing their team:


1. Hurried hiring – in a nutshell hiring mistakes can be very very detrimental to your business.  I find in small business the hiring decision is often made quickly without any reference to a Position Description or the required skill set.  More often than not a referral or friend of an employee is the quickest and easiest choice.  Take the time to get it right – start with a clear idea of what you need. If you don’t have a PD (or time to write one) list at least 5 keys areas of responsibility and 5 top skills that you need from the successful candidate. One way to do this is to think about a great employee – what they do well and what leads to their success at work.  Remember that in a small business a ‘rotten apple’ can really upset the apple cart so take into account the team and company culture when shortlisting and interviewing.

2. The employee handbook takes a back seat – set the rules in black and white from the beginning (and update regularly any changes). Have a concise clear document that states what your expectations are and where related policies can be found.  Make it available in line or email a link to new Employees. Think about the demographic of your staff and what way is the most likely way for them to read.  Give them ample me to read prior to starting.  I know you have that juggling act happening but short term pain for long term gain.

3. Ditching the induction – put the new Employee first – have everything they need ready on their first day – remember how important first impressions are – they count for a lot. Set the first impression at interview and follow through on everything you promised.  Schedule some time out of your day and spending quality one on one time with new starters – this will set you both up for success.  Remember your first day at a job? It is sometimes overwhelming and very often nerve wracking so over deliver!


Having high turnover is no good for you or your business – touch base regularly with your newbie in the first few months and jump on any red flags straight away. Setting them up for success reflects on you and your business!

Linda Callander

Linda Callander  

Linda Callander has worked in human resources and recruitment for over 20 years and is now the director of hirewell, a company that helps both individuals and small businesses. They often job ready sessions and do one-one-one career coaching and resume writing for job hunters // www.hirewell.com.au